From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SPERMACETI (Greek sperma a seed + ketos a huge marine animal, a whale) — the product received from the cavities located over a skull and along a spine of a cachalot. It is used in pharmaceutical practice as aid.

The cleared S. consists generally of high-molecular alcohols (47 — 54%) and their ethers, hl. obr. ether of cetyl alcohol with palmitic acid (see).

The firm white mass of a lamellar, crystal structure translucent in a thin coat with pearly luster, fat to the touch, inodorous or with a slight peculiar smell. During the rubbing of paper does not leave on it a fat spot. On air turns rancid over time and turns yellow. Not a rastvorima in water and cold alcohol, a rastvorima in the alcohol boiling 95%, and also in ether and chloroform; t ° pl 41 — 54 °. It is easily alloyed with fats, hydrocarbons, wax (see). For S.'s transformation into powder it is moistened by 95% with alcohol and pound in a mortar.

In pharmaceutical practice apply as a sealant to receiving ointment bases, bases for suppositories and also as the sliding substance in production of tablets. Is a part of the sperm ointment representing alloy 1 of h white wax, 2 h spermaceti and 7 h peach-kernel oil. Besides, it is used by production of cosmetic creams.

A. I. Tentsova.